Accretion disk winds in active galactic nuclei: an X-ray view

Giustini, Margherita (2011) Accretion disk winds in active galactic nuclei: an X-ray view, [Dissertation thesis], Alma Mater Studiorum Università di Bologna. Dottorato di ricerca in Astronomia, 23 Ciclo. DOI 10.6092/unibo/amsdottorato/3892.
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This Thesis focuses on the X-ray study of the inner regions of Active Galactic Nuclei, in particular on the formation of high velocity winds by the accretion disk itself. Constraining AGN winds physical parameters is of paramount importance both for understanding the physics of the accretion/ejection flow onto supermassive black holes, and for quantifying the amount of feedback between the SMBH and its environment across the cosmic time. The sources selected for the present study are BAL, mini-BAL, and NAL QSOs, known to host high-velocity winds associated to the AGN nuclear regions. Observationally, a three-fold strategy has been adopted: - substantial samples of distant sources have been analyzed through spectral, photometric, and statistical techniques, to gain insights into their mean properties as a population; - a moderately sized sample of bright sources has been studied through detailed X-ray spectral analysis, to give a first flavor of the general spectral properties of these sources, also from a temporally resolved point of view; - the best nearby candidate has been thoroughly studied using the most sophisticated spectral analysis techniques applied to a large dataset with a high S/N ratio, to understand the details of the physics of its accretion/ejection flow. There are three main channels through which this Thesis has been developed: - [Archival Studies]: the XMM-Newton public archival data has been extensively used to analyze both a large sample of distant BAL QSOs, and several individual bright sources, either BAL, mini-BAL, or NAL QSOs. - [New Observational Campaign]: I proposed and was awarded with new X-ray pointings of the mini-BAL QSOs PG 1126-041 and PG 1351+640 during the XMM-Newton AO-7 and AO-8. These produced the biggest X-ray observational campaign ever made on a mini-BAL QSO (PG 1126-041), including the longest exposure so far. Thanks to the exceptional dataset, a whealth of informations have been obtained on both the intrinsic continuum and on the complex reprocessing media that happen to be in the inner regions of this AGN. Furthermore, the temporally resolved X-ray spectral analysis field has been finally opened for mini-BAL QSOs. - [Theoretical Studies]: some issues about the connection between theories and observations of AGN accretion disk winds have been investigated, through theoretical arguments and synthetic absorption line profiles studies.

Tipologia del documento
Tesi di dottorato
Giustini, Margherita
Dottorato di ricerca
Scuola di dottorato
Scienze matematiche, fisiche ed astronomiche
Settore disciplinare
Settore concorsuale
Data di discussione
15 Aprile 2011

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